Portland Police Chief accidentally shoots friend in back

Chief Larry O'Dea - KOIN

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was revealed Friday that Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea was involved in an accidental shooting last month while on vacation.

In a statement released by the bureau, Sgt. Pete Simpson says O’Dea was hunting in Harney County when his .22 caliber rifle accidentally discharged, injuring a close friend. The 54-year-old man was shot in the back and treated and released from a hospital. The incident was reported to the sheriff’s office

O’Dea also reported the incident to Mayor Charlie Hales and the bureau’s Professional Standards Division Captain.

“I’m very thankful that my friend is ok and I’m tremendously upset this happened,” Chief O’Dea said in a statement.

The incident happened April 21, prompting current and former PPB members to ask why neither the chief nor Mayor Hales said something earlier to the public.

“In and of itself, it’s not that big of a deal. You know, people get hurt when they go hunting it’s just one of those things,” said C.W. Jensen, a former PPB captain. “This is a public relations mistake rather than so much a Larry O’Dea mistake.”

As of noon Monday, Chief O’Dea’s office has not said why they waited to publicly disclose the shooting.

In an email on Monday, the mayor’s office said, “Generally, with off-duty issues of all kinds, media are not immediately notified unless a sworn member is arrested (or charged later) for a crime.”

The Oregon State Police said the Oregon Department of Justice is investigating. A DOJ spokesperson said they cannot comment at this time on the case.

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